Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stage 11: Marseille - Montpellier

In progress.

It's a flat sprinter's stage with no abandons reported. Christophe Moreau of AG2R had a small crash but is back on the bike. None of the BOP (back-of-the-peloton) riders that we have been following are in the current breakaway.

I'm usually a good speller, but I can never remember how to spell peloton. Peleton. Whatever. I'm only a good speller in American-English.

Don't you love it when CSC lets Jens Voigt off his leash? He's always fun to watch.

Later. . . .

Sadly, we lost three more riders today:

72 ANTON Igor (ESP) EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI withdrawls
63 CALZATI Sylvain (FRA) AG2R PREVOYANCE withdrawls
39 ZABRISKIE David (USA) TEAM CSC outside time limit

This is what I just posted over at Bruce Hildebrand's blog concerning the Big Z:

"Dave Zabriskie was listed as last place finisher in 2 stages (once when he arrived in an autobus of ~70 riders), but was never last place in the General Classification. Calling him the Lanterne Rouge is like calling the stage winner the yellow jersey wearer. Wim Vansevenant is the Lanterne Rouge and has been for 4 stages, and was also Lanterne Rouge for the 2006 Tour."

Although Zabriskie might have been the Lanterne Rouge now, if he had finished inside the time limits today. What a shame he didn't make it to the long individual time trial on Saturday! Seems that spare cycles agreed.

Today a grupetto of 14 riders finished at 10:13 after the stage winner, then Frenchman Benoit Vaugrenard from FdJ was the final official finisher of the stage at 12:26.

That leaves our final five in the General Classification (with Zabriskie gone, Steegmans finishing 57th for the stage, and Hoste finishing 140th) as:

164. CHARTEAU Anthony 104 CREDIT AGRICOLE 54h 57' 14" + 1h 45' 36"
165. VERBRUGGHE Rik 148 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 54h 59' 14" + 1h 47' 36"
166. NUYENS Nick 145 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 55h 00' 12" + 1h 48' 34"
167. GERAINT Thomas 215 BARLOWORLD 55h 02' 25" + 1h 50' 47"
168. VANSEVENANT Wim 49 PREDICTOR - LOTTO 55h 08' 48" + 1h 57' 10"

So Wim Vansevenant remains Lanterne Rouge of the Tour de France for the fourth consecutive stage.

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Sorry to see Zabriskie out of the Tour. Rumor has it that he will be changing teams next year so perhaps that will change his duties a bit as well.
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